All You Need Are Shoes: The Frugal Gym Membership

When money is tight, one of the first expenses to get cut can be maintaining your health. It starts with spending less money on food that causes cheaper, unhealthy fast food choices. Eventually it may lead to a sedentary lifestyle because the person doesn’t want to spend money on fitness equipment, memberships or classes. Like I mentioned last week though, the best investment you can make is in your body and health. The truth is: the lifetime investment in your health can be as small as buying a simple pair of shoes.

Personally, I have been using Vibram Five Fingers for the past few months and I love them, but any pair of workout shoes will do. With just a pair of shoes you can do a huge variety of bodyweight exercises. You can go for walks or jogs. You can go hiking or run stairs. You don’t need a fancy gym membership to take care of yourself.

Bodyweight Exercises

While free weights or other fitness equipment can help you maximize your strength gains most effectively, general maintenance of your body can easily be done with your own bodyweight. Here are some examples of the main body weight exercises to focus on to get in better shape with links to videos by Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness on how to do them.

This combination of exercises works your entire body, can help you build muscle and lose weight. Some of these exercises, like pull-ups, require a simple bar that you can find at a local playground or public community park with an outdoor gym.

Mix It Up for Better Results

The key to sticking with working out and staying fit for me is to switch it up when I get bored or plateau. When you can do 20+ consecutive repetitions of an exercise, alter the form a bit. If you are doing push-ups, raise your feet to do decline push-ups. With squats, put your hands behind your head or try a pistol squat.

By continually changing up your exercises you will not only keep them fresh, you will be working different muscles as you alter them.


My favorite resource for no b.s. advice on getting fit is Nerd Fitness. Here are a few articles there that can be helpful for creating your own frugal workout routine or home gym.

I am a firm believer that health and financial well-being don’t have to have a direct relationship. Even if you are struggling under mounds of debt, all it takes to get in better shape is to set aside the time and effort to be fit.

What are some of the ways you stay fit? Do you invest in your body’s future?